April 6, 2011 |
California homeowners who refinanced their properties for cash or took out home equity lines of credit will now be allowed to participate in parts of the state's $2-billion foreclosure relief initiative. Many people tapped their rising equity during the boom years, using their homes as ATMs to fuel spending. The California Housing Finance Agency had initially excluded people who used their home equity in such a manner from participating in its Keep Your Home initiative, which launched this year with federal funds reserved for the 2008 rescue of the financial system.
September 11, 2011 |
Dear Liz: I was laid off in November 2009. For the first year, I took the unemployment and tried to find a job without success. So, in late 2010, I started my own business, contracting mainly for employers for whom I used to work. Unfortunately, I am making about a third of what I used to make, and even after cutting expenses, there are months that I can't pay my bills. I have taken two withdrawals from my self-directed IRA this year. Is that the smartest thing to do? Or should I even out my cash flow by writing myself loans from my home equity line of credit?
December 18, 2011 |
Dear Liz: We are getting coaching from a finance advisor. He suggests using a home equity line of credit as investment capital. Your opinion on this? Answer: You're not dealing with a financial advisor who has your best interests at heart. You're dealing with a salesman who is mostly, if not solely, concerned about the commission he's going to earn from selling you an insurance or investment product should you take his unsound advice. Borrowing to invest is a risky strategy.
August 20, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Hard economic times have helped push millions of Americans deeply into debt, plunging many into a dark world filled with relentless collection agents, aggressive lawyers and companies that profit mightily if they can get people to pay up. Aided by outdated laws and lax oversight, debt collection has become a $12-billion-a-year business as people increasingly have fallen behind on their bills for credit cards, student loans, hospital stays...
August 19, 2012 |
Dear Liz: I co-signed some private student loans for my youngest child. She graduated two years ago with about $80,000 in student debt, including federal and private loans. Like many other recent graduates, she has had a difficult time finding a job. She worked part time at a retail store until about a month ago and made around $7,000 annually. I have been helping her make reduced payments and she has gotten deferments and income-based repayment plans. But I'm planning to retire in a few months and won't be able to make the payments as I have been.
September 25, 2011 |
Like a lot of middle-aged people these days, Nancy Lomen, 50, is thinking about retraining for a new career. What the San Gabriel resident and her husband, Bill, 64, are trying to figure out is whether a $60,000 investment in Nancy's education is a smart bet at their ages. They have two children, one in college and another who will be in college next year, and little in the way of retirement savings. "I've been thinking and dreaming about becoming a registered nurse midwife for a good 10 years," Nancy said.
February 16, 2013 |
Bill Sepe has gotten used to rejection. The 28-year-old Rancho Cucamonga native has put in nearly 200 unsuccessful offers since August on Inland Empire homes, varying from typical suburban ranches to classic craftsman homes. All this anguish comes in pursuit of a modest home in the exurb of San Bernardino County, the epicenter of the Southern California housing crash. Plummeting values here sparked a vicious wave of foreclosures. But it's precisely because prices fell so far here that Sepe can't buy a house now. In a sharp irony, many would-be homeowners in hard-hit markets can't compete with a flood of all-cash offers from investors, some backed by Wall Street war chests.
March 1, 2008 |
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said in a regulatory filing that it expected about $450 million in home equity loan losses for the first quarter, and that home equity losses could be double that by the fourth quarter. The filing elaborated on information given to investors during JPMorgan's Investor Day on Wednesday, when bank executives said they expected loan charge-offs to increase sharply in 2008.
June 22, 2013 |
Dean Schefrin bought a home at just the right time. He and his then-fiancee purchased their four-bedroom Thousand Oaks home last August, catching the rising wave of Southern California home prices. Less than a year later, he estimates his home is worth about 25% more than he paid. "It is just a really nice feeling," the 45-year-old said. "It's sort of peace of mind. " The last time housing prices rose this quickly, homeowners rushed to tap their home equity to spend on renovations, cars, vacations, even second homes.